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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in the Netherlands Series at DutchPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Dutch holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 15, World Animal day. In Dutch, it's called [Werelddierendag].
Whether it’s a cat or dog, a rat or mouse, bird, goldfish, rabbit, or guinea pig, the majority of Dutch people keep some kind of pet in their homes. Since most people don’t know the exact date of birth of their pets, instead of birthdays Dutch people celebrate World Animal Day or [Werelddierendag] on October 4. On this day, pets and animals in general get lots of extra love and attention.
In this lesson, you’ll learn how World Animal Day is celebrated in the Netherlands.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question?
What do you think is the most common pet, or [huisdier], in the Netherlands?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
If extra sweet treats or snacks are what come to mind when it comes to pampering one’s beloved pet, then you’re right on the money. In the Netherlands, however, there are many other ways for people to celebrate these special members of the family. In some places you can find pet-friendly beer, or pet spas to give pets a day-long vacation. Many people living in urban areas also may take time to take their pet for an extra long walk through a forest or park.
In the city, there are few places where a dog, or [hond] in Dutch, can run freely. Therefore on World Animal day, Dutch people head to some of the few large, open areas where dogs can meet plenty of playmates. Even if one’s pet is a rabbit, or [konijn], some choose to experiment with letting them roam free in their yards. For pets, it’s nice not to sit in a cage from time to time; and under supervision, these animals can go out and about without a problem in the house or yard.
In the past, Dutch people used to keep pets for practical or [praktisch], reasons. Dogs were used as guard dogs; cows to produce milk; and chickens for laying eggs. Cats could catch mice, rats, and insects so each pet was kept for their own certain purposes. These days, however, Dutch people keep pets for various reasons. It’s no secret in the Netherlands that pets are spoiled rotten. Not as much as Paris Hilton’s Chihuahua, but in the Netherlands, pet animals are usually allowed to do as they please, and are often considered “family”.
If traveling outside the Netherlands with a pet, Dutch people must secure a special pet passport. This applies in any case when traveling with dogs, cats, and ferrets, both inside and outside the EU.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
What do you think is the most common pet in the Netherlands?
The answer is fish. Among the 31 million pets that live in the Netherlands in total, there are at least 18 million pet fish swimming around. Apart from fish, cats and birds or [vogels] in Dutch, are the next most common pets.
What did you think of this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
What kind of pet do you have?
Leave us your comments on DutchPod101.com, and we'll see you in the next lesson.